Media Execs Adjust Their Package

According to Ad Age, the recession isn’t killing media, the internet is. That’s the trade mag’s takeaway from a new Booz & Company survey that found 57% of media execs believe that “deep-seated industry shifts,” aka the internet, are more likely the reason for the current economic “malaise” than the recession.
This led me to poke around the Booz & Co. site, where I found the following paragraph in a text-heavy PDF on the media industry’s outlook for 2010:

The view of Booz & Company’s media and entertainment practice is that the companies that will define the next wave of industry growth will require competencies that are substantially different from those that ensured success during the analog era. Previously, winners were defined by their strengths in content development, packaging, and distribution–all key for an entertainment world characterized by scarcity. The digital era is characterized by unprecedented levels of consumer choice, ubiquity, and interactivity. To succeed in this more dynamic environment, companies need to acquire and build new skills. They must excel at developing deep audience insights; building consumer relationships across multiple platforms and user environments; creating targeted content, applications, and advertising opportunities; and managing a mix of monetization models across advertising, subscriptions, and commerce (emphasis added).

Creating targeted content is what I’ve been talking about (and delivering) for years. Booz has a bit more on the emerging market for client-owned media:

Major marketers will continue to develop their own media assets, especially in digital. Key examples include some of the world’s most recognized brands: Volkswagen, Nike, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Hewlett-Packard. This is one of the sector’s most provocative and disruptive developments; it represents yet another challenge to long-standing advertising-centric business models. The more media that marketers build on their own, the less they will buy.

Marketers making their own media must sound threatening to media companies, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it’s just as easy to see the large opportunity for media workers and their employers to help marketers produce compelling content.
I was fortunate to be able to build a content department inside an agency, but not every agency needs to go (or will go) that route. Another viable route is to partner with media professionals to handle content creation for an agency’s client(s). These media pros can be found inside existing media companies and/or in new hybrid models with one foot in Adlandia and the other in media.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.